G.L. (Gaye Leanne) Hardesty was born in April 1971 and raised in Sydney’s Northern Beaches to a creative family where drawing, painting, craft, knitting and sewing, were daily activities along with raising budgies, fishing, nature walks and gardening which were all favourite past-times in her childhood.

 Gaye attended Freshwater High School and by the time she was a teenager was already showing maturity in her art. During her year 8 school year in 1984 one of her artworks was chosen to be displayed at Wollongong University’s “Young Artists of Promise” exhibition. She then carried on with visual art into the next 2 years. However she experienced daily bullying which caused a lot of emotional stress. Through this, art and poetry became even more important as a mode of expression and healing. Then due to discouraging advice from a careers advisor, Gaye left school and decided not to pursue further education in the arts, instead following a different career path , with art remaining a hobby enjoyed only in private.

    During her teen years and into her twenties, Gaye spent most of  her creative time perfecting pencil portraits. Growing up she very much admired the impressionist painters, in particular Vincent Van Gogh. Studying everything about his life and work with great interest. However,  her goal at that time was to achieve realism in her own finished work.

    Gaye married an American naval serviceman in 1995 and moved to the USA for a total of 18 months. During this time she spent a lot of time exploring photography with her husband, and using that medium to inspire her art. This is when she began to create more landscape artworks and began working with coloured pencils and pastels.

    Upon returning to Sydney in 1997, Gaye started her own business and successfully ran it until the birth of her first child in 2000, a daughter, who was later diagnosed with autism. She also relocated at this time to the Central Coast NSW. She didn’t create anything for many years while caring for her daughter, and two other children. Missing her art, in 2006 she decided to try painting and started producing works inspired by the garden at her home. Bright flowers and sculptural plants, but still only as a hobby and therapy to help ease the hard days of raising a special needs child.

    In 2014 Gaye’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and this was the most defining moment to date. Losing her father suddenly and seeing him not get to realise his own dreams, she decided to dedicate her attention full time to do what she has always wanted to do...be an artist.     

      Over the years her art has evolved over many mediums and techniques, and across varying subject matter. In November 2014 she entered 5 artworks into a group exhibition for the first time with other  local artists both emerging and established. 3 sold during the exhibition. Around this time she also became involved with a community art project helping to paint murals for Toukley Neighbourhood Centre.

   She has recently entered the Small Works Art Prize, Gosford December 2014; Choose Yourself Exhibition, The Entrance Gallery, May 2015 where one of her works was chosen for the poster, Love Exhibition, Kincumber, 2015; Wanderlust Exhibition, Kincumber 2015; and The 8 by 10 Group Exhibition, Newcastle, January 2016.

    Following these exhibitions, she has been further inspired to evolve again by spending time in nature which has become the main focus of her work; observing local wildlife and using colour in abstract form to create backdrops while bringing accurate depictions of native animals and birds to life with her natural talent for realism. Gaye enjoys the juxtaposition of mixing these two styles and media  into one, and is what sets her recent work apart from others. Her passion for the preservation of endangered species has been her most recent influence, having also most recently exhibiting in Kariong NSW to draw awareness to animal reduction from habitat loss.

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Mandoline on Table
1984 graphite on paper. Age 13.
Entered into the "Young Artists of Promise" Exhibition at Wollongong University.
Norah Head Lighthouse
Acrylic on aluminium mural panel
120cm x 240 cm
for Toukley Neighbourhood Centre Mural Project 2014.
Joint effort with Emma Ward
Soldiers Beach Sunrise
Acrylic on aluminium mural panel
120cm x 240cm
for Toukley Neighbourhood Centre
Community Mural Project 2014